This week, Project Syndicate catches up with Diane Coyle, Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge
Project Syndicate: You’ve advocated the use of industrial strategies “to support particular strengths in production (through innovation policies or procurement frameworks) or to address weaknesses (in areas such as skills).” Taking the example of the United States, which policies have the most potential, and how likely are they to be implemented?
Diane Coyle: Every country, including the US, already has an industrial strategy in some form, whether that be investing in basic research in areas like artificial intelligence or genomics, engaging in defense procurement, or offering tax breaks for investment in R&D. But, to avoid wasting taxpayer dollars, those strategies must be designed strategically.
Today, zero-carbon technologies are an obvious area where a country like the US would do well to support research and investment. At the same time, governments can help to close – or prevent – skills gaps in the industries of the future, such as data science, by improving coordination between training providers and students.
We ask all our Say More contributors to tell our readers about a few books that have impressed them recently. Here are Coyle's picks:
by Melanie Mitchell
A clear and concise explanation of what AI entails, its history, and some of the challenges it raises. I elaborate on my impressions in my blog.
by Matt Stoller
An account of the origins of US antitrust law in the early twentieth century, which helps to explain today’s “neo-Brandeisian” movement among antitrust experts. The perspective is very American; European antitrust policy has been more stringent, and its enforcement more vigorous. While I haven’t yet finished the book, I am enjoying it.
From the PS Archive
Coyle reviewed three books assessing what has and hasn’t changed in economic thinking and research since the 2008 crisis. Read the long read.
Coyle showed how regulation can create markets, boost competition, and protect consumers. Read the commentary.
Around the web
Coyle spoke to openDemocracy about industrial strategy, universal basic infrastructure, moving beyond GDP, and how to build an economy that works for the twenty-first century. Watch the interview.
At the WIRED Smarter conference, Coyle discussed why the economics of Big Tech shouldn’t surprise anyone. Watch the talk.